CPEC is BRI’s best performing project: Chinese envoy

358

ISLAMABAD, June 20 (APP): Deputy Chief of Mission at the
Chinese Embassy in Islamabad Zhao Lijian Tuesday said China
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was one of the best performing
projects of his country’s Belt and Road Initiative.
He was speaking at a conference on `Belt and Road Initiative
and CPEC’ organized by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), an
Islamabad based think tank, on the occasion of the inauguration of
its (SVI’s) China Studies Center.
Lijian said CPEC was the “fastest and most effective” among
the projects being undertaken as part of BRI. CPEC’s 19 early
harvest projects worth $18.5 billion, he said, were making smooth
progress towards completion.
The multi-billion dollar CPEC project, which is being jointly
undertaken by Pakistan and China, prioritizes development of
Gawadar, energy projects, transport infrastructure and industrial
cooperation.
Lijian made a special mention of the progress on energy
projects.
He said the second 660MW unit of Sahiwal Coal-fired Power
Plant has completed its test run and is ready for inauguration.
The first unit of the Sahiwal plant was inaugurated by Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif on May 24. With the commission of second unit,
the whole plant would be giving an output of 1320 MW.
The Chinese diplomat said Port Qasim Coal-fired Power
Plant is also expected to be completed this year, whereas three wind
farms in Sindh were also nearing completion.
Meanwhile, Mr Lijian said, the bidding process for Eastbay
Expressway, which would link Gwadar Port with the main national
highway network, was in the final stages and its groundbreaking
ceremony would be performed this year.
Work on Gawadar International Airport is also expected to
commence this year. It should be recalled that the Grant Agreement
on Gawadar Airport and Framework Accord on Eastbay Expressway were
signed during PM Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China last month for
attending the Belt and Road Forum.
Secretary Ministry for Planning, Development and Reforms
Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said, “CPEC epitomizes the growing mutuality of
interest and vision of shared politico-economic future of Pakistan
and China.”
He said “effective and timely” implementation of the
projects was critical for the overall BRI timeline.
CPEC’s Project Director Hassan Daud Butt said CPEC would speed
up industrialization and urbanization of Pakistan so that it could
grow into an inclusive and prosperous country.
He emphasized on mobilization of all resources; maintaining
national unity, consensus, and political stability; and doubling
efforts for eradicating terrorism for timely completion of CPEC
projects.
President SVI Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said China was not only
playing an important role in development and security of Pakistan,
but had an important influence in the entire region and beyond.
He said CPEC was an unparalleled plan for development,
regional connectivity, industrialization and infrastructure
development.
Introducing his think tank’s China Studies Center, Dr Cheema
said, it would endeavour to study Pakistan-China relations, role of
China in South Asia and beyond, besides carrying out an in-depth
research on security, economic, development, political aspects of
BRI and CPEC and their impact on regional integration.